Pediatrics Then and Now: How the Medical Field Has Changed

From insurance policies to technology and kids’ health issues, the field of pediatrics has changed immensely over the past 50 years.

And, for veteran pediatrician Dr. Marshall Blondy from Southfield Pediatrics, those changes have happened right before his eyes.

Health insurance, Blondy says, is something that has really evolved over the last 50 years. Decades ago, patients paid by cash, check or Blue Cross. These days, different insurance companies charge different co-pays and have various areas of coverage.

Many people have been told, “your insurance doesn’t cover it,” and that aggravates Blondy – who strives to give patients the best medicine for their ailment or send them to the top specialist for their need.


There have also been vast changes in technology over the past 50 years. “Electronic medical records have changed for the better,” Blondy says.

Now, parents don’t have to spend time deciphering their physician’s handwriting. Plus, all of the medical records are a click away.

In addition, the Southfield Pediatrics website makes it easy for parents to stay connected with the office. The patient portal allows you to create an account, request appointments, pay your bill or renew a prescription – perfect for parents on-the-go.

Common health issues

And when it comes to what ails kids these days, obesity and ADHD are at the top of the list, along with autism spectrum disorders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has been identified on the autism spectrum.

“Obesity rates throughout the entire country are very, very high,” Blondy says – and that goes for adults, too.

Kids are often overfed and inactive, which leads to weight problems that could follow them all the way into adulthood.

Blondy’s motto is, “eat less, walk more,” and that’s what he encourages all patients to do. And, if you’re looking to help your child lose weight, southeast Michigan offers many kids weight loss programs. Check out our list.

Genetics is also a factor that plays into obesity – but a little bit of work, kids can lose weight with minor changes.

Doctors are also seeing a lot more ADHD in kids. “It has more to do with recognition,” Blondy says.

However, it can also be over-diagnosed or misdiagnosed, Blondy adds. Parents and physicians will notice if kids are not learning properly or having a hard time focusing. Years ago, people may not have been as aware as they are today. Blondy also notes that ADHD runs in families, so if dad has it, then your kids could have it, too.

In a society that is ever-changing, it is clear that the next 50 years will bring about even more medical advances, changes to insurance policies and cures for what ails children. In the meantime, pediatricians like Dr. Marshall Blondy strive to work with families and keep kids healthy.

This post was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for 2015.


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